Wa Entertainment’s new girl group, Mamamoo, made a splash even before they made their official debut. Following label mates, Phantom, the 4- member group releases a string of videos and singles leading up to their official debut. They worked with producer, Kim Do Hoon, who has worked with CN Blue, IU and Wheesung. The first pre-debut track, Don’t Be Happy featuring Bumkey, shows off their strong vocals and harmony paired with a jazzy flair. Korean Youtuber/ Singer/songwriter, Esna, also helped with writing the song which explains the jazzy vibe. The track is a great fusion of R&B, with jazz and bebop styling’s that make the song really pop. In my opinion this was a great pre-debut track to get the groups name out in the audiences minds and get good hype.
Don’t Be Happy
Another single that was released was Peppermint Chocolate featuring Wheesung and K. Will. Following the previous single, this song keeps up with the fusion jazz and 1940’s sound. This single was not included on the mini album, but was apart of those tracks that were pre-released. This track would have been a good addition to the mini album simply because it fits with the ‘jazzy’ theme they have throughout their songs. The last single that was pre-released was the song Hi Hi Ha He Ho featuring Geeks. This song has more of a simple R&B sound ; it’s very generic sounding even with the added the rap from Geeks. There’s nothing too spectacular about this track, it’s more of a filler.
Everyone should take notes on how to make a good intro! Hello is a smooth intro filled with breath-y ( the good kind) vocals that sound anything, but generic! There’s also some scatting in there a la Ella Fitzgerald that fits in quite well and sets the tone for a very modern spin on 50’s/jazz inspired album. Following that amazing intro is the title track,Mr.애매모호 /Mr. Ambitious. To say that I love this track is an understatement; this is everything a lead single should be: catchy, grabs your attention and stands out. Sticking with the overall old school jazz vibes, this song showcases great harmonies and strong vocals. The video is just as grand as the song; a star studded video with Bumkey, K.Will, Wheesung, Jung Joon Young and Baek Ji Young just to name a few. Besides the all star cast, the choreography, which was created by the rapper Moon Byul, and styling fit together so well. A lot of the video is shot in black and white to stay with the retro vibe, paired with outfits everything about this song just screams sexy and sassy!
Two other tracks on the album that didn’t quite reach my expectations were Baton Touch and 내맘이야 (My Heart) Hwa Sa’s Solo. Baton Touch kept things going with the bouncy, big band sound. Although I enjoy the instrumentation, the song itself didn’t quite stand out for me. The lyrics seemed pretty generic and didn’t have any repetition like the lead single or outstanding vocals that would redeem this song. Hwa Sa’s Solo was surprising; most rookie groups don’t have solo’s mainly because the company is trying to sell the group as a whole and not just parts. As for the song, the beat is giving me Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ and while that song is great to bust a move to, this song is very boring to me. As someone that enjoys rap, this sounds like something that should have come out maybe four years ago. Singing is the strong suit of the group, at least Hwa Sa, and the rapping should stay with Moon Byul.
Overall I’d say this was a strong debut for Mamamoo and I am anticipating their future releases. I’m very interested in seeing if they stick with the jazz concept or work in another genre. Hello was a great introduction that left me wanting more. I rate this 3.5/4